We love our chocolate, so we’re celebrating World Chocolate Day on July 7 with these unapologetically over-the-top creations
For a smoo th result, have the cream chee se and egg s close to roo m temperature.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
Prep & Cook 1 hr 20 mins (+ Cooling & Refrigeration) | Serves 12
180 g white chocolate, chopped finely
250 g sour cream
2 tsps vanilla bean paste
1 kg cream cheese, softened, chopped
½ cup caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tbsps caster sugar, extra
Fresh berries and white chocolate curls, to decorate
CHOCOLATE BISCUIT BASE
80 g dark or milk chocolate, chopped finely
40 g butter, chopped
250 g chocolate ripple biscuits
1. Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl, spoon over sour cream. Microwave on high for 2 mins, stirring halfway. Whisk until smooth, add vanilla bean paste. Cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 150 C. Grease a 25 cm springform pan; invert base. Line the side of the pan with baking paper.
3. CHOCOLATE BISCUIT BASE Combine chocolate and butter in a medium bowl; microwave on medium power for 60 secs. Stir until smooth. In a food processor, process the biscuits until fine crumbs. Add to dark chocolate mixture in bowl, stir to combine. Press the biscuit mixture over base firmly.
4. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer for about 5 mins or until smooth and creamy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. Beat in white chocolate mixture.
5. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the extra sugar, beating until dissolved. With a large balloon whisk, fold the egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.
6. Bake for 40 mins or until top is set but the middle still has a wobble. Turn off the oven and cool with the door open. Refrigerate for 6 hrs or overnight.
7. To serve, decorate the cheesecake with berries and chocolate curls.
SIMPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE
Prep & Cook 1 hr 30 mins | Serves 16
375 g butter, chopped
300 g dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups water
2⅓ cups self-raising flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1¾ cups caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten lightly
2 tsps vanilla extract shaved chocolate, candied violets and chocolate buttons, for decoration
1⅓ cups thickened cream
400 g dark chocolate, chopped finely
1. Grease and line the base and sides of a 26 cm cake pan. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
2. Combine the butter, chocolate and water in a medium saucepan, stir over medium heat until just melted – do not boil. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl. Cool for 10 mins.
3. Sift the flour and cocoa onto a piece of baking paper.
4. Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture, then gradually whisk in the combined flour and cocoa.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out with moist crumbs.
6. Stand cake in pan for 30 mins before inverting onto a wire rack to cool.
7. CHOCOLATE GANACHE Heat cream over medium heat until just below boiling point. Remove from heat and add chocolate; stir until smooth. Stand until thick and spreadable.
8. Spread Chocolate Ganache over top and sides of cake. Decorate with shaved chocolate, crystallised violets and chocolate pearls.
Marsala is one of Italy’s most famous fortified wines. For making dess erts, choo se a swee ter variety rather than dry.
Prep 30 mins (+ Chilling Overnight) | Serves 12
2 tbsps instant coffee
⅔ cup boiling water
½ cup marsala
¼ cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
3 eggs, separated
¾ cup caster sugar
500 g mascarpone
2 tbsps marsala, extra
⅓ cup thickened cream
260 g small sponge finger biscuits
50 g white chocolate, shaved into shards
50 g dark chocolate, shaved into shards
500 ml thickened cream, extra, whipped
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1. Combine the instant coffee and boiling water in a shallow bowl. If you have an espresso machine, make several short black coffees to make up 180 ml. Stir in the marsala and Kahlua.
2. Beat the egg yolks and ½ cup of the caster sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 4 to 5 mins).
3. On medium speed, beat in mascarpone and the extra marsala into the egg yolk mixture until just starting to thicken.
4. Beat egg whites and remaining sugar in a clean small bowl with an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the mascarpone mixture and then fold in the thickened cream.
5. Dip half the biscuits one at a time, for 1 to 2 secs only, into the coffee mixture and arrange the biscuits in a single layer of a 10-cup capacity dish.
6. Scatter with white chocolate shards. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits. Repeat with remaining biscuits, dark chocolate and mascarpone mixture. Cover, refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
7. Just before serving, pipe with whipped cream; dust the top with sifted cocoa.
RED VELVET CUPCAKES
Prep & Cook 45 mins | Makes about 22
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsps cocoa powder
1¼ cups caster sugar
1½ cups buttermilk
1 tbsp red food colouring
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2 tsps with vanilla extract
160 ml vegetable oil
Chocolate sprinkles and red sugar pearls, to decorate
200 g dark chocolate, chopped finely
250 g butter, softened
500 g icing sugar mixture, sifted
80 ml milk (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 150 C. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin trays (⅓ cup/80 ml capacity) with 22 paper cases.
2. Sift flours, soda and cocoa powder into a large bowl, add sugar; stir to combine.
3. Combine the buttermilk and food colouring in a small jug.
4. Whisk in eggs, vanilla and oil into flour mixture, then buttermilk mixture. Whisk until smooth and combined.
5. Spoon ¼ cup (60 ml) of mixture into paper cases. Bake for 25 mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Stand cakes in pans for 5 mins before turning onto wire rack to cool.
6. CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on medium power for 40 to 60 secs or until almost melted. Stir until smooth; cool. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy and as white as possible. Beat in the icing sugar mixture and milk. On low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
7. Top cold cakes with the chocolate buttercream and then decorate with chocolate sprinkles and red sugar pearls.
PHOTOS: JOHN PAUL URIZAR/BAUERSYNDICATION.COM.AU